Commencement Addresses

“SMU’s proud history and ongoing tradition of excellence are two reasons why George and I are so glad SMU is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Center. We look forward to the partnerships that will develop between the Bush Institute and many of SMU’s schools —I hope that you'll find, like I have, that coming back to SMU feels like coming home. That is why I am so happy that George and I will spend the rest of our lives working here on the SMU campus at the Bush Library and Institute.”

Former first lady of the United States, Laura Bush

Laura Bush, class of ‘68

May 16, 2009 — “As I reflected on what to say to you, I remembered my own graduation from SMU in 1968. It was the height of the civil rights movement. Young people were questioning the values of their elders and the United States was struggling against the spread of communism. Today, the Cold War is long over, we have elected an African-American as President of the United States, and there are more democracies in the world than ever before. Though you cannot know what the coming years will bring, I assure you they will bring progress and change – and that you will be part of it – just as my class of 1968 was part of what has occurred over the last forty-one years.”

President George W. Bush

May 16, 2015 — “Your SMU degree will open the door to a wide variety of career options. Millions will never have had this opportunity. SMU has laid a foundation so you can reason, and continue to learn throughout your life. It has given you the tools to be productive citizens. One of the great strengths of America is our active public square. Issues are influenced by the will of the people — As SMU graduates, you are well-equipped to participate in these vital debates. My hope is that you speak out on the issues that matter to you”